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‘Private Sector Participation, Solution To Housing, Infrastructure Challenges’

Chairman, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Mr Olayinka Omotosho has called on the Federal Government to provide the enabling environment for active participation of the private sector in housing and infrastructure delivery.

Omotosho made the call last Monday in Lagos while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of “Construction Summit 2018’’ organised by the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos.

He said the housing and infrastructure problems persisted in Nigeria because there had not been active participation of the private sector.

Omotosho said that government should allow the private sector to drive the housing construction sector for maximum provisions that would curb the nation housing and infrastructure deficit.

According to him, all government needs do is to provide the enabling environment and other necessities that will aid operation of the private operators.

“There are thousands of houses built in major cities of the country they are not affordable to many Nigerians because they are built by profit-oriented private investors.

“Government alone cannot provide the needed houses/infrastructure for the country. It needs full participation of the private sector operators, through a well-programmed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

“This implies leaving housing and infrastructure delivery in the hands of the private sector operators, while government provides the necessary conducive environment,’’ Omotosho said.

Omotosho expressed optimism that the active participation of the private sector in housing/infrastructure delivery would have great impact on the country infrastructure situation.

He noted that for the PPP programme to have positive impact in addressing the nation infrastructure needs, government also needed to go beyond provision of land and policy frameworks.

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According to him, government needs to grant incentives to private sector developers.

“Examples of such incentives are import duty waivers on building materials, provision of infrastructure and credit facilities through effective mortgage system and tax relief, among others.

He added that introduction of realistic building regulations and the review of restrictive legislation, such as the Land Use Act of 1978, were also some of the factors that could guarantee conducive atmosphere for private sector operation.

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